Monday, September 23, 2013

To Fly or Not to Fly? But Here’s a Better Question…”Will It Fly?”

       There are rare opportunities that can present themselves in a person’s life.  Those individuals that are inspired, living outside the average existence, risk takers, entrepreneurial, living by their own rules, and those with a lifetime destiny to do something great that can be viewed as a contribution to society and history.  On this day, the occasion presented itself to speak with a man on a mission and a dream to help another with the creation of a possibility to prove something from history.  Wayne Johnson, a filmmaker and founder of EYE ON U Productions Ltd New Zealand who has been in film and broadcast for 20+ years, through a bizarre scenario of circumstances came into contact with a man that would be the source of his current project that has expanded over the last five + years. 
Ivan Mudrovcich (L) - Wayne Johnson (R)
     By way of covering a funeral back in 2007, Wayne, as a freelance camera man, was led back to a longtime friend, Ivan Mudrovcich, who is recognized as a determined West Auckland tradesman who has never given up on the building of an original designed airplane from back in 1903 by Richard William Pearse.  There were witnesses from a supposed flight from March 31, 1903 in New Zealand, but to this day, there has never been physical proof that Pearse’s airplace actually flew.  Ivan’s dream is to see this through to build Pearse’s plane and silence the critics.  “Will It Fly?” is the documentary project that Wayne Johnson is invested in these days.  Wayne has been given what he views as a great honor and privilege to document this journey of the story of Ivan Mudrovcich which is not only enlightening, but will be inspiring to many because of the literal investment made emotionally, physically, creatively, and even financially by both Ivan and Wayne. This documentary is in fact based on one of New Zealand’s greatest aviation mysteries.
Ivan (Early Days)
     This journey has had its highs and lows.  The documentary has been true to form in its capturing of life and the challenges and obstacles you can face when doing what to others may seem impossible.  When Wayne learned about the plane from Ivan, Ivan shared that he might not even make it to the completion of the plane or be able to see the project through.  Ivan was not well and had heart triple by-pass surgery back in 2004 and still suffers from some complications.  In addition, Ivan couldn’t guarantee the plane would even fly once they built it.  Timing has also been a factor.  Originally it was thought it might take 2 ½ years to complete the project and now five ½ years later they are in the process of final phases and even experienced delays as a result from a test flight in September 2012 that tore the wing off and which has had to be rebuilt. 
Ivan Mudrovcich
     There have been also twists and other side stories to the documentary that make it even more interesting.  One such twist is the account by Wayne’s next door neighbor who had visited a local museum in New Zealand that actually had a display of the Wright Brothers airplane history where he was approached out of the blue by a mysterious woman that claimed to have a picture of Richard Pearse’s plane and her father standing next to it.  The neighbor who knew of the documentary shared Wayne’s contact information with the woman, but did not obtain her contact info.  They have not been able to locate the woman after that encounter and endless searching.  Was it a coincidence or a sign?
     What has been discovered in the documentation of the journey is that when two like-minded people come together with a desire, passion and a vision, the relationship that develops is what is important.  Helping support each other through the process of creation, through the loss of life which has happened for both Wayne and Ivan, for the health challenges that have affected Ivan and the blood, sweat and tears that they have experienced is the investment dreams are made of.  Wayne said this best when he shared a saying he heard from an American race car driver he worked with back in 1978, “if you believe in it, do whatever it takes to get it done.”  This has been an inspiring statement in his life that he constantly has heard through this journey and what he views as an opportunity of a lifetime. 
     The documentary “Will It Fly?”, has been selected and will be shown at the Laughlin International Film Festival (LIFF), October 17 – 20, 2013.  LIFF is excited to have this film as part of their selections and is looking forward to a continuing relationship with Wayne Johnson and Ivan Mudrovcich’s journey.  You can learn more about the film and the film festival at the links shared below.  There are many exciting elements to this documentary and the composition that has been shared in the trailer alone will make you want to learn and see more.  Currently the documentary has been shared in about ½ dozen cinemas in New Zealand and the local response especially to Ivan’s character has been tremendous.  The focus will be more boutique cinemas in New Zealand and after the film festival the hope is that his documentary will provide an interesting historical account that can be shared with the world.  Wayne and Ivan are seeking to educate others about the story.

Film, Film Festival and Additional Reference Sites:
“Will It Fly?” Website -
Laughlin International Film Festival -
Eye On U Productions LTD New Zealand -

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